Central Florida Roundup
Spotless: Researchers get an almost dust-free facility for creating smart sensors
APOPKA — Florida Hospital opened a $203-million, 120-bed hospital, replacing a 50-year-old, 50-bed hospital.
â-º State wildlife officials completed the release of 1 million largemouth bass fingerlings into Lake Apopka as part of a years-long effort to revive the polluted lake.
DEBARY — Developer Charles Wayne Properties landed a nearly $4-million loan from First Green Bank to help finance development of a 68-acre, mixed-use project known as the DeBary Town Center, which boosters say is the largest undeveloped parcel of land within walking distance of any station along central Florida’s SunRail commuter rail system.
LAKE COUNTY — After years of controversy and litigation, Cemex won approval to open a 500-plus-acre sand mine in the southern end of the county.
ORANGE COUNTY — Orlando Utilities Commission opened a $15-million solar power plant.
ORLANDO — City leaders and non-profit Dr. Phillips Inc. unveiled plans for a more than 200-acre mixed-use development near downtown that would include residential and commercial space plus a new regional park. Swiss airline Edelweiss will began year-round flights between Orlando and Zurich. Marriott reopened a long-closed, nearly 300-room hotel downtown after a $20 million-plus renovation. The Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida opened a $4.25-million, 30,000-sq.-ft. facility in the city’s Parramore neighborhood.
OSCEOLA COUNTY — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission opened a public gun range, its first, in metro Orlando.
PORT ORANGE — In a partnership with the Florida Inland Navigational District and others, the city opened a 10-acre Riverwalk Park along the Halifax River.
- The Orlando Utilities Commission chose Clint Bullock, vice president of electric and water delivery, as its new general manager and CEO. Bullock succeeds Ken Ksionek, who is retiring.
Innovation: Zika Diagnosing
Led by a University Central Florida professor, an Orlando- based biotech startup called Nano Discovery has developed a test that it says can diagnose a Zika infection within a half-hour.
The test, dubbed D2Dx, uses a mixture of gold nanoparticles to detect the anti-Zika antibodies that are produced in patients who have contracted the Zika virus.
Boosters say the test offers several advantages over current Zika diagnostic tools. Among them: It is easy to administer, requiring only a finger prick and few drops of blood. The technology is also small and portable; it’s about the size of a small printer. And it works much faster than tests on the market, which can take hours or days.
“This technique has the potential for many other diseases, too,” says professor Qun Treen Huo, president and co-founder of Nano Discovery.
Huo says she expects the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will review D2Dx for emergency use. Assuming it is approved, Nano Discovery hopes to begin manufacturing the test and selling it to hospitals.
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